(An outsiders musings about what is happening at Boston College, aka The Heights)
Here are some numbers to ponder regarding Boston College football and coach Steve Addazio.
Addazio is finishing the first month of his fifth season at The Heights. Contractually, he is committed to BC through the 2020 season, which at approximately $2.6 million per season means it will cost BC almost $8 million if it wants to terminate the deal at the end of this season.
So Addazio is probably not spending a lot of time worrying about short term job security, no matter on how many "Hot Seat'' lists his name appears.
BC is coming off a 49-20 loss to Notre Dame in which the score suggested a different profile of the game than Addazio says occurred.
"When you watch the tape, you're like, wow, but on seven plays we had a breakdown of someone not being in the right gap or when a play hit the second level, we didn't tackle well in the back end,'' said Addazio. ""And so that 12-yard gain became a 60-yard gain. That happened seven times in that game. Okay, there's a difference between that and getting chewed up because you can't stop anybody or they're blocking you. There's a big difference between playing in a football game where the score is big and your team got beat up. That hasn't happened.''
Fair enough. But let's look at some other numbers that Addazio's teams have produced during his tenure at The Heights. The Eagles are 1-2 this season, coming off a 34-10 loss to Wake Forest and a 49-20 loss to Notre Dame, both at home against teams not ranked in the Top 25. That's being outscored by an 83-30 margin.[membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]
Since Addazio arrived at BC in 2013, the Eagles' best record is 7-6, which they have done three times. During that span, BC has faced teams ranked in the Top 10 eleven times. Their record is 1-10, including an 8-game losing streak, dating back to Sept. 13, 2014 when they stunned No. 9 USC 37-31. Their effort against the elite teams last season was abysmal, losing all three games against ranked teams by a combined score of 153-24.
The red-flag for new BC athletic director Martin Jarmond, who presumably, is doing a season-long evaluation of his football coach, was the one-sided nature of the last two games against teams NOT ranked in the Top 25.
The easy part of BC's schedule is over.
Coming up for the Eagles is a road game at defending national champion and current No. 2 Clemson, which will be followed by a home game against Central Michigan and games against No. 13 Virginia Tech and No. 19 Louisville.
If recent form holds up, that could be a 2-5 start, with a projected win over Central Michigan, which should not be assumed.
After the Louisville game on Oct. 21, there is a road game against an improved Virginia team and a home game against No. 12 FSU. Other than a "road'' game at Fenway Park on November 18, against UConn, and perhaps a home game against NC State on Nov. 11, Central Michigan is likely to be the only game the Eagles will be favored in for the remainder of the season.
Although there is no definitive word on the victory total it will take to guarantee Addazio's return for 2018, the prevailing theory is that another 6-6 record is the absolute line in the sand, although that could be mitigated if some of the losses are, at the least, "competitive'' in nature.
Addazio's public face has been optimistic, as it should be. It does little good to tear down a team three games into the season, no matter how many clouds are just beyond the horizon.
But Addazio is selling a product that people are having a hard time believing in, considering what they have seen in the past four seasons with no clear sign of a steady improvement.
"We'ere excited about developing this football team right now,'' said Addazio. ""Say like, why? Because I think we have a future full of good talent right now that you can grow.''
That might be true, but it begs another question.
Are Addazio and his staff capable of nurturing this program back to competitive health?
In trying to explain the loss to Notre Dame, in which the BC defense allowed the Irish to pile up 515 yards in rushing offense and allowed two Notre Dame backs to gain more than 200 rushing yards, the Eagles did break down on several plays, but Addazio explained it away by having players "not in the right gap'' and "not tackling well.''
Well, isn't that coaching and game preparation?
Against Notre Dame, the Eagles' committed 6 penalties for 35 yards. Five of those penalties came before the ball was snapped.
Again, that's discipline and coaching, isn't it?
This is hardly a lost season for the Eagles. If the talent that Addazio said he has does develop, the Eagles should reach that 6 win mark, they should be more competitive against Top 25 teams.
Right now, neither the Eagles nor their coach have shown they are capable of producing such results.[/membership]